The Consumer Electronics Association has cut ties with technology website CNET as the publication responsible for picking the “Best of CES” award at the annual trade show. The group feels that CNET’s parent company, CBS Corp, compromised the publication's objectivity when selecting this year’s winning product.
CNET initially selected the Hopper with Sling from Dish Network to win the Best of CES award for 2013. The Hopper DVR allows customers to automatically skip commercials that air between prime-time TV shows, among other things. The problem with that is that it undercuts a key source of revenue for networks in the form of advertising.
CBS Corp, the parent company of CNET, is currently in the middle of a legal dispute with Dish Network over the Hopper. CBS forced the technology publication to retract the award and select another product to win the accolade – which they did, the Razer Edge gaming tablet.
Yesterday, the CEA overturned the decision and named the Dish Hopper and the Razer Edge gaming tablet as co-winners of the award. Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said he appreciated the international CES’ decision to stand with the consumer in the acknowledgement of the award and regrets that it has to come in the face of the organization having to undermine CNET’s editorial independence.
The CEA generally doesn’t like to get involved in the awards process as they have relationships with a number of exhibitors which is why they hired CNET for the job starting at the 2007 CES. No word yet on who will replace CNET moving forward.